September 2013

Do green houses have to look weird?

In a word, no. But they can if you want them to. The boom in passive solar design or green houses during the 1970s encouraged lots of owner-builders to construct energy-efficient houses. Some excellent books on energy conservation and building theory were published at the time—books such as The Owner Built Home, by Ken Kern (1972), and From the Ground […]

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Do green houses cost more to build than regular houses?

Green is often less expensive when all things are considered. Sustainable building often seems more expensive than conventional building. Many of the building materials that make houses more durable and easier to heat and cool aren’t cheap. Complicated systems that allow a certain amount of energy independence–photovoltaic and solar hot water panels, for instance—can be very pricey. Common sense would […]

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Why is green building suddenly such a big deal?

There are a lot of reasons why green building is suddenly a big deal. Sustainable building isn’t exactly a new phenomenon, but it has certainly taken root in a way that earlier efforts to change residential construction did not. Chalk it up to the coalescence of many things. Energy costs are one key. The frenzy in passive solar design that […]

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